Trompler Foundation Archives



The Alliance wore gray, Joss wore brown

Having been provoked into addicting myself to Firefly, I had little reason not to try to see what Whedon could do with Serenity on the big screen.

I was very impressed by Whedon’s success at balancing a narrative that had to compress a half-season of plot while standing alone as a feature.  Apparently, the special effects budget—while certainly larger than that for any number of television episodes—was still small compared to any other science fiction feaure in the post-Lucas era.  Nevertheless, the money was used wisely and where it was most important, that is, on the title character.

I’d like to praise Whedon’s writing chops by saying that Serenity can be appreciated without having seen Firefly, but in the era NetFlix and BitTorrent, there’s simply no reason not to see both.  Watch the series first (it’s (tragically) short), then see the film.

I’m glad Book took his past to the grave, but it doesn’t take that great a leap to understand that Whedon in fact laid it all out in Serenity.

Many reviewers have lamented that the resolution of River/Miranda felt rushed, and while I’m okay with the anti-climax of the threat River posed to the Alliance, I almost lost patience with the conceit that broadcasting the S&R log would somehow be credited by anyone not already predisposed to believe the worst about the Alliance.  If we have an epistemological crisis in the age of blogs, how will matters have improved when the polity consists of dozens of billions spread out across an implausibly large star system?

Furthermore, "the Operative" seems to be operating on quite a long leash; he commands unquestioned authority over a ridiculously large armada, he bails out of the space fight in an escape pod without delegating command, and then orders the surviving Federals not only not to arrest Our Heroes but also to render medical and mechanical assistance.  All the while, no one calls Parliament and double-checks if they really ought to be aiding and abetting known criminals.  Where’s the notoriously stultifying bureaucracy we’re told is the "downside" to Core civilization?

Surely it’s not too much to ask that theatrical adaptations of television series take advantage of the medium by showing a bit more flesh, is it?

Copyright © 2005 by Eric Scharf.  All rights reserved.